If you know me well enough to get a close look at my phone, you’re probably one of my friends who has exclaimed with disbelief at the number of unread emails in my inbox. Yes, the number in the title is current. It is ridiculous I know and it probably reflects more about my personality and habits than I really want to be sharing with the world.
I’m sure some of you delete, delete, delete. Or maybe you file emails away into folders. I’m sure that some of you have less than 100 emails in your inbox and you think that’s untidy!! So, what’s my problem?
Well, I DO scroll through and deal with the emails that are important (although I know some slip through and I miss them!), but I never seem to get round to doing anything with the others. They’re mostly emails from random sites I’ve subscribed to at some point, all with information that’s relevant to my life in some way or another.
The problem. I’m a procrastinator. I put off a lot of things (that I don’t enjoy doing) until the very last minute of must. And then some things, like the emails, I just avoid totally. I have pushed sitting down and writing this to the top of a list that includes things like….send parcel, clear desk, purge emails! I have lists about lists. And lists about those lists. I have an almost tangible feeling that if I make a list, I’ve pretty much got everything done already.
Would you be surprised if I told you that ‘Gone with the Wind’ is one of my all time favourite books? Scarlett O’Hara and I are soul mates. ‘After all, tomorrow is another day!’ If I don’t do it today it will (magically) get done tomorrow. Or the tomorrow after tomorrow. Or the tomorrow after the tomorrow after tomorrow.
From time to time, I encourage myself with little mantras to spur me on to list-ticking instead of list-making. One of my simplest, most direct is, ‘just do it Kathryn!’ You’d think that would work, right? I’m not going to make lots of excuses for myself: too busy, not enough hours in the day, etc. And I’m not going to make any promises to myself either. That I will somehow pull it out of the hat, change beyond recognition and be the most organised person on the planet. But I think I need to find a way through the middle somewhere.
One of my wonderful friends reminds me that goals need to be specific. Maybe I need to delete 50 a day rather than add ‘purge emails’ to my ethereal ‘to do’ list.
What tips do you have for ‘getting the job done’?